De Rodriguez Cuba – Creative Cuban Cuisine in South Beach

by Cynthia K Seymour on January 21, 2014

De Rodriguez Cuba Poolside Dining Miami South Beach Art BaselLooking for an upscale Cuban-inspired dining experience in South Beach? How about a fun place to meet friends after a day of trotting around Art Basel? De Rodriguez Cuba offers creative Cuban cuisine that is quite the departure from the traditional Cuban restaurants that are typical throughout Miami.

Located a bit “off the beaten path” on Ocean Drive in the Bentley Hotel, De Rodriguez Cuba is Chef Douglas Rodriguez’s “spin” on a variety of Latin flavors. The restaurant itself is a contemporary space with the option to dine indoors or outside under a generously appointed veranda by the pool. Given the beautiful weather, we kicked off our evening enjoying the full moonrise out by the pool with cocktails and sensual, jazzy music.

Our waiter, Alfredo suggested that we start off the night with a cocktail and ceviche. He recommended the “Cojito”, which is a coconut infused mojito and a Gin Con Limon. While both drinks were equally inventive, the Gin con Limon was infused with a muddle of black cherries, which gave it a rich and flavorful twist.
De Rodriguez Cuba Tuna Watermelon Ceviche South Beach Miami Cuban CuisineThe specialty of the Chef is a variety of ceviche that is a modern twist on the traditional Peruvian fare. We selected the Tuna and Watermelon Ceviche. Imagine a copious amount of the freshest tuna with cubes of watermelon and mint marinated in a tangy and light sauce. The flavors came together in a delightful way.

De Rodriguez Crispy Shrimp Chiicarron Miami Cuban Restaurant Art BaselFor dinner, we enjoyed the Crispy Shrimp Chicarron, which is a copious offering of rock shrimp fried in a light and crispy batter. This particular “take” on chicarron is more flavorful. It’s perhaps more like a tempura and not as heavy as a typical deep-fried shrimp, which makes it all the more of a surprise. Topping the shrimp was a sweet garlic sauce with cilantro.

De Rodriguez Crispy Cuban Vegetable Salad Miami SoBe restaurantAs a complement to the shrimp, we enjoyed the Crunchy Cuban Vegetable Salad. This salad is a colorful array of shredded tropical vegetables with a tangy dressing.The menu represents so many Latin-inspired flavors that it would warrant multiple visits to experience all that the chef has created.

If you are expecting the traditional-style, Cuban cuisine, be prepared to be both amused and impressed. De Rodriguez Cuba is refined and much more creative than what you might be expecting. One thing to note is that the portions are generous and large enough to share. Upon reflection, I honestly can’t think of that many restaurants in Miami with both poolside dining and noteworthy fare. The combination of the atmosphere and elevation from the traditional flavors is exactly what makes De Rodriguez worth a night out in South Beach.

For directions and more information on De Rodriguez Cuba, visit their website:

For more on Chef Douglas Rodriguez, here is a great YouTube video that showcases his unique talent & culinary style:


Harvest Roasted Pork Loin

by Cynthia K Seymour on January 20, 2014

Harvest Roast Pork Loin Vegetables comfort food recipe

Harvest Roasted Pork Loin
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This is an All-American Roasted Pork with a variety of Harvest Vegetables. The Pork Loin roasts down to give off a savory gravy with the tart and sweet flavors of apples. This type of recipe is easy to make and one that the entire family will enjoy. Feel free to experiment with other types of vegetables like squash or sweet potatoes, too. This is the kind of recipe where you can get creative with the vegetables you have in your kitchen.
Recipe type: Dinner Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4

  • 1 Pork Loin
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil Extra Light
  • 1 Sweet Onion cut into crescent-shaped slices
  • 5 Stalks of Celery
  • 6 Carrots
  • 3 Apples cored and sliced into 8 wedge shaped slices
  • 5 Red Skinned Potatoes
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp of Bragg’s Amino Acid or 1 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • ½ Tbsp of Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F Degrees
  2. Chop Onions into moon-shaped slices
  3. Chop Celery into 1 inch pieces
  4. Chop Carrots into 2 inch pieces
  5. Chop Apples into thick wedges
  6. Chop Potatoes into large moon-shaped wedges
  7. Coat the pork loin in olive oil and drizzle some into the a large frying pan.
  8. Over Med-High heat on the stove, sear all sides of the pork loin until all sides are a golden brown.
  9. Remove the Pork from the heat and set aside.
  10. Saute the Onions and Celery in the same frying pan for 2 min
  11. Add Carrots and Potatoes.
  12. Grate Garlic into the saute pan while all vegetables are cooking and stir.
  13. Add the Apples last.
  14. After 2 min, create a space in the center of the sauteed vegetables and put the pork loin into the middle of the pan.
  15. Add ½ cup of water
  16. Add 1-2 Tbsp of Braggs Amino Acid or 1 Tbsp of Soy Sauce.
  17. Take the Sautee Frying pan and roast uncovered in the oven for 35 minutes.
  18. After 35 minutes, Cover the Pork and vegetables with a pot top or aluminum foil and continue to roast for 20 more minutes.
  19. After 50-55 minutes total, test the roast pork with a meat thermometer. The interior temperature should read 160 degrees.
  20. Sprinkle Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt over the Vegetables and Pork.
  21. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the plate and then slice the pork.
  22. Layer the sliced pork loin over the vegetables and Enjoy!


Snap Challenge Recipes – Sunny Harvest Gazpacho

by Cynthia K Seymour on September 12, 2013

During the course of September 2013, I will be submitting healthy and economical Snap Challenge recipes, to help people create nutritional and natural foods during Hunger Action Month. For the most part, I will limit the processed foods and try to rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Day 1: September 11th, 2013. This Gazpacho recipe is full of nutrients and vegetarian. The best way to add protein might be to serve with a side of quinoa or black beans. The estimated cost of the soup is $5.68 for 4 servings, which is about $1.42/serving.

gazpacho basil soup

  • ½ Cup of Ice Water
  • 6 Campari Tomatoes
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • ½ Vidalia Onion
  • 6 Mini Red Bell Peppers (or Orange/Yellow)
  • 1 Lemon (Juiced fresh)
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 1 tsp of Raw Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Can of V8 Juice
  • ½ Cup of Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt – Season to Taste

  1. Prep:
  2. Wash and clean thoroughly your vegetables.
  3. Cut the Celery stalks into 2 inch pieces.
  4. Cut the 6 Tomatoes into halves.
  5. Cut the ½ Onion into moon-shaped crescents.
  6. Cut the tops off of the mini Bell Peppers
  7. Cut the Lemon in Half and squeeze out the juice. Remove the seeds.
  8. Cut and Peel the Cucumber.
  9. In a Blender:
  10. Add the Ice water into the bottom of the blender to start the process.
  11. Add the Celery, Cucumber & Onion
  12. Then Add the Tomatoes & Bell Peppers.
  13. Blend at Medium to High Speed.
  14. Add the Lemon Juice.
  15. Add the Can of V8 Juice.
  16. Add a tsp. of Brown Sugar.
  17. Add 2 Tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar.
  18. Slowly, while blending, drizzle the Olive Oil into the blender.
  19. Season with Sea Salt.
  20. Chill in the Refrigerator for 2 hours and Serve with a drizzle of Olive oil and Garnish with a finely chopped “salsa” of cucumber, onion & mango or a sprig of fresh basil leaves.



SnapChallenge – September 2013 is Hunger Action Month

by Cynthia K Seymour on September 11, 2013

SnapChallenge Hunger Awareness Month
Did you know that one in five American children go to bed hungry at night?

Today, I read the following article “Challenging Myself to Experience Hunger” by Ron Shaich, the founder and CEO of Panera Bread. Recently, I have been researching the impact of world hunger and Mr. Shaich’s article really brought the matters home in terms of awareness about this problem on a national, as well as a global scale.

September 2013 is Hunger Action Month and for rest of the month, I am pledging to participate in the #HungerChallenge, also called the #SnapChallenge, spearheaded by during Hunger Action Month.

In addition to raising awareness, are there ways to make this experience still pleasurable? I love to cook and share recipes. Some of them are cost effective, nutritional and flavorful. During this month, I will be taking the challenge head on and sharing the recipes and experience along the way. The Snap Challenge is as follows:


Eat on just $4.50 a day. Shop for your meals with the daily average per person benefit provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) to get a sense of some of the challenges faced by those struggling to put food on the table. Budget $4.50 for the day and share your experience with family and friends to raise awareness of the importance of this critical nutrition program.

In addition to the recipes, I will also share the cost of the meal for the family. The first recipe, Sunny Harvest Gazpacho, is $5.65 for 4 servings and is a healthy, vegetarian and raw-food soup.

Today’s budget = I ate 2 servings $2.82 + also ate 2 tbsp of tuna salad which was less than $1.00 and my daughter had 1/2 a banana 75 cents + grapes 50 cents, 1 cup of yogurt $1.25, and some pasta $1.00 and Milk. Add 16cents for tea. Grand total: $3.98 for me and about $4.00 for my daughter.

Am I hungry tonight? Yes… but I have a whole new perspective on how many times I have said “I’m starving” or “I’m dying of hunger” in the past. Seems like a preposterous thing to say given the realities that many people have to face every day. Feeling blessed, nonetheless…


Holiday Gift Idea – Maggie’s Pecan Christmas Cookies

November 28, 2012

Tweet   Holiday Gift Idea – Maggie’s Pecan Christmas Cookies   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 15 mins Total time 45 mins   Need some new ideas for Holiday Gift Giving? Everybody loves Cookies! These are a recipe near and dear to my heart. I used to make them with my Grandmother and […]

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Creole Roasted Cornish Hen with Cognac Grape Sauce

November 7, 2012

Tweet Creole Roasted Cornish Hen with Cognac Grape Sauce   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 50 mins Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Author: Cynthia K Seymour Recipe type: Dinner Cuisine: American Serves: 4-8 Ingredients 4 Cornish Hens 1 Tbsp Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt 2 tsp Sea Salt 2 tsp Pepper 4 tsp […]

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#ThirtyDaysofThanks – Day 3 Sunset in Key Biscayne

November 4, 2012

Tweet From my neighborhood of Coconut Grove, glorious sunsets are a short 10 minute drive to Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne. I don’t always take the time to drive over, but every time I am there, I simply want to capture it forever. I am so thankful to live in an environment that […]

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Kicking off #ThirtyDaysofThanks – Day 1

November 2, 2012

Tweet So, Halloween is past us and some of us are figuring out how to get creative with Leftover Halloween Candy. Next up we have Election Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving… While we celebrate Thanksgiving with copious amounts of food and a cornucopia of harvest treats, the true meaning of giving thanks can sometimes take […]

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Sugar Pumpkin Real Pumpkin Pie

October 29, 2012

Tweet   Spiced Pumpkin Pie   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 1 hour 15 mins Total time 1 hour 45 mins   You will not find canned pumpkin in this recipe. Small sugar pumpkins are wonderful for cooking and baking into pies. This is the real deal! Author: Cynthia K Seymour Recipe type: […]

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Creole Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup

October 28, 2012

Tweet Creole Pumpkin Soup   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 55 mins   Author: Cynthia K Seymour Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: American – Louisiana Creole Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 3 Tbsp of Extra Light Olive Oil 2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced) 1 Chopped Onion 1 teaspoon of Curry Powder ½ […]

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